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The AMA, American Medical Association, is galvanizing a new, bold professional movement in pursuit of healthier people, better health care and lower health care costs.

The AMA is focusing on finding ways to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the two diseases that affect a staggering number of people. AMA believes that it is necessary to focus on health as well as medical care the strengthen health overall. It is necessary to strengthen the connection between clinics and the community in order to have a healthier nation.

The AMA chose to focus on cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes because of the profound effect these conditions have had and continue to have on millions of patients. Cardiovascular disease accounts for one-third of all deaths in our nation.  One in three adults could have diabetes by 2050 if trends continue as they are.  That is frightening. Additionally the costs of these diseases are insanely high.  Cardiovascular disease and diabetes cost over $535 billion a year. With proper intervention, the effects of these conditions can be reduced dramatically, increasing the health of our nation and decreasing health care costs.

AMA is focusing on these two conditions by collaborating with other organizations to develop new approaches to prevent progression of prediabetes and gain better control of high blood pressure. AMA teamed up with the YMCA to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes with Medicare participants who have prediabetes. They increased the number of Medicare participants screened and referred by physicians to the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.  Also, AMA worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a new, multi-year initiative called “Prevent Diabetes STAT: Screen, Test, Act- Today.” Physicians and care teams, patients and families, employers, insurers and community-based organizations are all welcome to join.

And finally, AMA is also working the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities to create a nationwide professional movement and support practices and health centers in efforts to improve hypertension control.  They will join forces with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services whose main objective is to bring the high blood pressure of 10 million more Americans down to normal levels by 2017.